We will be traveling from June 17-29. And will start in Kinsale and end in Connemara. I am trying to find an option of seeing one of these sports live but do not know the seasons for the sports, when they play (e.g Saturday morning, Friday night? )or where to look at a schedule or buy tickets. Is this something we have to do in advance? And ideas would be most welcome. We will be staying in Kinsale, kenmare, dingle, Galway and clifden. We are an American soccer loving family and would love to have our children experience this. After seeing Crystal palace play Liverpool last year at Selhurst, we know there is nothing like sport in other nations. Thanks for your help!
The professional versions of the sports are under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Your best resource for sorting out your questions is their website at https://www.gaa.ie/. Believe the hurling season wraps up in March, not sure about football.
You might have better luck searching out matches between local school or youth league teams. While driving thru small towns on Saturday mornings we usually came upon matches in progress, and just parked the car and walked over to the pitch to take in one of the games - sort of like soccer Saturday mornings in the US.
Could also check with the local TI wherever you're staying. They'll know the local schedules and can point you in the right direction.
On one trip we stumbled onto "Camogie" which is the women's form of "Hurling." We dropped into some school championship games as we were wandering about.
I was hoping to catch a hurling match during a free day we have in Dublin, in early July, but it looks like the timing won't work out for me.
I must admit, as an outsider, I have found the logistics, the scheduling, the process of getting tickets, even the terminology, all somewhat baffling. From what I've been able to figure out (I think), the games or matches are called "Fixtures". The finals (what we in the US would call "playoffs") are at Croke Park (a huge, historic stadium) in Dublin, from late June into September. Major matches in the summer typically take place on Saturdays and Sundays.
You can find the schedule for Croke Park fixtures here: Fixtures at Croke Park
@lisaford22, it looks like you could catch a match at Croke Park if you're in Dublin on June 22 or 23. Lucky you!
Thanks for your feedback. I too found it difficult to navigate the GAA website, most likely due to the terminology difference, but also because I could not find a season schedule through June. Unfortunately(or not), we will only be in western Ireland, so hopefully we will be able to catch something, even if just kids in a playground, playing what look to be fascinating sports.
Each county also has a GAA website and you can follow on Facebook and Instagram. I’m following Kerry, Galway and Donegal hoping to catch something in May.
There’s also a “hurling experience” in Kilkenny http://www.thekilkennyway.com/
L, We were in Dingle the first week of May and just lucked into a Gaelic Football rematch between Dingle and Killarney. It was played on Sunday afternoon at around 1 PM for your reference. This was a playoff game that had ended in a tie in Killarney so they did the rematch in Dingle. The players were 16-25 years old and represented their town in this match and then hoped to be chosen to represent the county in a larger country wide tourney. It was great fun. I had no idea of the rules but we took a seat in the Dingle stand and a 20 something guy was happy to explain the game and keep us up on what was occurring on the field if something unusual happened. It was a complete blast and total fun with local flavor. I had tried as you have to pick through the websites and schedules and it was tough. I suggest when you arrive in each town engage someone in a pub and they will quickly let you know when a match is set. I hope your schedule is such that you are flexible enough to take in a game, if you like local competition you will not regret the time invested. I did a similar thing in Monegilia near the Cinque Terra in Italy and had similar fun at a local soccer match....I avoided the stands there but in Ireland going into the local stand to sit was a great choice. Many of traveling Killarney fans were in the local pubs after the match for some good natured booing. I hope it works out for you, your kids will love it, Gaelic Football is a rougher aggressive high scoring soccer sibling!
Wow! Sounds like an awesome experience and great advice. We will certainly leave room at each destination to make sure we can Take in a game, if there is one available.